Egyptian army kills 63 gunmen in north Sinai

Air strikes and ground operations kill 63 gunmen in north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Security forces said air strikes and ground operations launched by the Egyptian military killed 63 gunmen in villages between the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, in northern Sinai Peninsula on Sunday.

The gunmen are claimed to be affiliated with ISIS.

The security forces added that the army found four hideouts belonging to the gunmen and attacked them with apache helicopters and ground troops.

The operation came after the militant group carried out a bloody attack on Wednesday through the town of Sheikh Zuweid, killing more than 100 people.

The army said 17 soldiers were among those killed in Wednesday’s attack in Sinai, however, independent news sources said the number was considerably higher.

The Wednesday’s attack came only two days after the country’s top prosecutor general, the highest profile official who has been killed so far,  Hesham Barakat was killed in a car bombing in Cairo on Monday and a special forces raid on a apartment, killing nine members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Egyptian government officials accused Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for allegedly being affiliated Sinai attacks. However, The Brotherhood says its a peaceful movement and wants to reverse military coup through street protests.

The militant group, Ansar Beit al Maqdis, declared allegiance to ISIS last year and have previously called for attacks on Egypt’s army, police and judicial officials.

On July 3, 2013, the armed forces led by General Abdel Fattah el Sisi seized the control of Egypt,  arresting government officers in the following days  alongside other top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational organisation  known with its political activism combined with Islamic charity work.

The pro-Morsi protests continued six weeks following the military coup in Cairo, until the armed forces raided and killed hundreds of Morsi supporters on August 14, 2013.

Human Rights Watch organisation described the raids as “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history,” which the number of deaths from the Rabaa Square alone was about 2,600 according to the Muslim Brotherhood.

TRTWorld and agencies